BigCommerce is an enterprise level, open-source, SaaS e-commerce platform which was founded in 2009 and is based in Austin, TX.
What began as a 2-person startup is now an international company with multiple offices in Austin and additional offices in San Francisco, London, Sidney, and Kyiv.
As of this writing, BigCommerce states they’ve powered 60,000 merchants in 150+ countries to sell billions of dollars in merchandise.
They also have over 800 employees with 2,800 agency and technology partners, and they recently IPO’ed on the NASDAQ in 2020 under ticker BIGC.
Today we’ll dive into the many BigCommerce reviews we’ve read, explore what they have to offer based on our independent research, present both the Pros and Cons of BigCommerce, and look at real-life examples from some of their biggest customers.
Table of Contents
- BigCommerce Reviews – Customer and online
- Is BigCommerce the best ecommerce platform?
- Features, Plans, and Pricing
- Should you build your website with BigCommerce?
- Can BigCommerce help me sell my products?
- BigCommerce for taking payments
- Is BigCommerce good for SEO?
- Does BigCommerce work with WordPress?
- Is BigCommerce right for you?
BigCommerce Reviews: What do their customers have to say?
The vast majority of BigCommerce Reviews that we could find online were positive.
For instance, G2.com, at the time of writing, has 386 customer verified BigCommerce reviews with an average rating of a 4-stars.
For the most part, customers like the ability to quickly set up an online store while having unlimited products and SKU’s. Multiple people also state that BigCommerce extended their trial period until everything was set up and ready for the market. Many other companies would not be so accommodating.
All the other BigCommerce reviews from the first page of Google, when combined, give BigCommerce an average score of 3.85/5 stars.
However, not all the BigCommerce reviews we found were positive. There are certainly some negative BigCommerce reviews out there as well.
Most of the 1-2 star BigCommerce reviews on g2.com revolve around ease of use for new users and the lack of knowledgeable US-based support.
Trustpilot’s BigCommerce reviews were the most critical with an average score of 2/5 stars.
BigCommerce does, however, maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Is BigCommerce the best e-commerce platform?
BigCommerce encourages everyone to dream big. This is one of BigCommerce’s guiding principles, so it’s no surprise they offer the tools and scalability to help your business grow as big as you can imagine.
Yet, they are still an attractive option for even the smallest of operations. Because of their scalability and enhanced features, there’s no question BigCommerce is one of the best eCommerce platforms and should be a consideration for anyone looking to sell online.
Looking to start your first eCommerce business from the ground up?
BigCommerce gives you just about everything you need to get started, including:
- a professional and easy-to-use page-builder
- the ability to build out a full SEO friendly and mobile-responsive website complete with a blog, online storefront, product ratings and reviews
- a newsletter signup box
- super-fast hosting
There are, however, a few places where BigCommerce falls short. For instance, while their platform has a newsletter signup box, it does not include an email marketing system. If you want to set up an email campaign to stay in touch with your lists, you’ll need to integrate with a third-party solution like Mailchimp or Aweber.
Fortunately, intgrating BigCommerce with a third-party solution is a breeze as they have API’s for nearly every email platform on the market.
BigCommerce probably has an API for that
BigCommerce has APIs to integrate with just about anything you can imagine. They currently list over 1000 total integrations ranging from accounting platforms to live chat, scheduling, affiliate programs, SEO, and more.
So whatever it is you’re looking to do, BigCommerce likely has an API integration to help make it possible.
However, to take advantage of true “Headless” commerce, you’ll need to be a BigCommerce Enterprise customer. As you can see from the chart below, BigCommerce’s three Essential Plans do not include unlimited APIs.
As an Enterprise customer, BigCommerce will also assist you in implementing any APIs you require so that your entire stack works together as it should. This alone is a huge time/money saver and will likely save you a few headaches as well.
BigCommerce Features, plans, and pricing
BigCommerce offers four plan options; Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise.
Here we’ll look at the primary differences of each.
To start with, all BigCommerce plans come with the following base features and benefits:
- 0 Transaction Fees
- Unlimited Products
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Staff Accounts
- Online Storefront
- POS Integrations
- Amazon / Ebay / Walmart / Facebook / Instagram / Google Integrations
- Mobile Responsive Website
- Page Builder
- Single Page Checkout
- Digital Wallets – Apple Pay – Google Pay – Amazon Pay
- Coupons, Discounts, and Gift Cards
- Multi-currency Support
- Built-in Blog
- Product Ratings and Reviews
- Dedicated SSL and Site-wide HTTPS
From there, the features expand per the chart below;
|Monthly Cost |
|$29.95 either way||$79.95 / billed monthly|
$71.95 / month / billed annually (10% Discount)
|$299.95 / billed monthly|
$269.95 / month / billed annually (10% Discount)
|Contact BigCommerce for Custom Pricing|
|Customer Groups and Segmentation|
|Abandoned Cart Saver|
|Store Credit Cards|
|Google Customer Reviews|
|Custom Product Filtering|
|Unlimited API Calls|
|Online Sales Per Year—Calculated on a Trailing 12-month Basis||Up to $50k||Up to $180k||Up to $400k**||Custom|
|Service and Support|
|24/7 Tech Support (phone, chat, & ticket)|
|Express Routing, Priority Support,|
and Customer Success Management Available
BigCommerce Reviews: Building your website
When it comes to building a stunning online presence and store quickly, even with no experience, BigCommerce has you covered. They offer an intuitive drag-and-drop page-builder and tons of free and premium themes to choose from.
They offer a wide range of industry and use-case-specific themes as listed below. However, many of these are going to be premium themes that are pretty pricy, especially when compared to your typical high-end WordPress theme.
And from what I’ve read from some BigCommerce reviews online, their free themes are not very exciting or easily customizable.
Themes by collection
- Large Catalogs
- Small Catalogs
Themes by Industry
- Animals & Pets
- Arts & Crafts
- Automotive & Industrial
- Books & Entertainment
- Electronics & Computers
- Fashion & Jewelry
- Food & Beverage
- Gifts & Specialty
- Health & Beauty
- Home & Garden
- Sports & Recreation
- Toys & Games
How can BigCommerce help me sell my products?
To start with, BigCommerce gives you a highly professional and customizable storefront that includes features such as:
- Single-Page Checkout Experience that’s designed to convert
- Product Reviews and Ratings
- SEO-friendly URLS
BigCommerce’s Abandoned Cart Saver
When it comes to closing more customers and adding to your bottom line, BigCommerce’s Abandoned Cart Saver is one of its strongest tools. With this feature, you can send automated emails to visitors who leave the site before checking out.
Of course, this feature is not available with BigCommerce’s Standard Plan. However, it’s a great reason to upgrade to Plus as, depending on your product, it could pay for itself by saving sales each month. I would suggest calculating your profit assuming that the feature will save you just one or two sales per month; would that be enough to cover the additional cost of the Plus plan?
Sell your products on multiple marketplaces from the same backend store
Another way BigCommerce helps you sell your products is by giving you the ability to sell on all the major marketplaces. This alone sets BigCommerce apart from most other eCommerce platforms.
With BigCommerce, you can sell your products on Facebook / Instagram, Amazon, Google, eBay, and Walmart, all from the same backend BigCommerce dashboard. And of course, everything is synced: sales reporting, inventory, and even coupons and promotions. The best part is all of this functionality is included with every BigCommerce plan.
With BigCommerce, You can sell your products globally
It seems like being able to sell globally would be a given in the e-commerce world. I mean, isn’t being able to sell your products worldwide one of the main premises behind e-commerce? Ironically, many eCommerce platforms do not provide the tools necessary to make this possible, but BigCommerce gives you what you need with the following features:
- Take payment in over 100 currencies
- Integrates with some of the worlds top shipping providers
- Integrates with international tax platforms such as Avalara, TaxJar, Thomson Reuters, and Vertex
- Control Panel that’s available in multiple languages
- Use any language you want for your site and storefront
- List your products on international marketplaces
Coupons and Discounting
Also included in every BigCommerce plan is their coupons and discounting tools, which include the following:
- Coupon codes
- Shipping discounts
- Product discounts
- Brand discounts
- Category discounts
- Order discounts
- Customer discounts
- Add free products to orders
- BOGO (buy one get one)
- BOGSE (buy one get something else)
- Sell pricing with a strike-through of the regular price and MSRP
BigCommerce university is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to take their BigCommerce store to the next level. It’s great for both beginners and also for more experienced BigCommerce users as well.
One of the great things about BigCommerce University is that it is not a one-size-fits-all training program.
To start with, their programs are divided between Business users and Technical users.
From there, you have additional options to choose from:
- In person training at one of BigCommerce’s main campus’s; Austin, London, or Sidney (Currently virtual-only due to the pandemic)
- Personalized training onsite at your businesses location (Currently virtual-only due to the pandemic)
- On-demand online at your convenience
If you choose to go with the technical training, BigCommerce offers what they call BigDev certifications. Here’s a list of the development certifications they currently offer:
- Stencil Essentials
- Storefront API
- Catalog API
- Orders API
- Widgets API
- GraphQL Storefront API
What does BigCommerce have to offer when it comes to payments?
BigCommerce makes taking payments from your customers about as easy, cost-effective, safe, and convenient as the payment process could possibly be.
To start with, they offer zero transaction fees if you choose to use a third-party payment solution. Some eCommerce platforms penalize you up to 2% for doing the same.
And with over 65 payment solutions already pre-integrated, BigCommerce is easily one of the most business-friendly eCommerce platforms available.
BigCommerce also assumes full responsibility for the security of every transaction. With full PCI compliance built into each payment integration, you never have to assume liability if something were to happen.
Point-of-Sale Integrations – Connect BigCommerce to your brick and mortar sales channel
BigCommerce also offers integrations with most of the most popular POS systems. You can seamlessly bridge your offline and online sales to help you grow quicker. Some of their most popular integrations include:
- PayPal Zettle
- Heartland Retail
- Hike POS
- Epos Now
BigCommerce for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
BigCommerce does offer some helpful features when it comes to SEO, and there are some areas where it lacks.
Some of BigCommerce’s best SEO features include:
- Mobile responsive themes
- Search-engine friendly URLS
- Automatic redirects
- Robots.txt access
- CDN for site speed
- Optimized image enhancer
- SSL and site-wide HTTPS
One distinguishing feature that sets BigCommerce apart is its automated URL redirection feature. Anytime you change a product, BigCommerce will automatically update the URL to match the product and redirect the old URL to the new one. You can ultimately do the same thing in WordPress using the Redirection plugin, which is very simple to use, but it’s not automatic.
I think my favorite BigCommerce SEO feature is built-in rich snippets. Rich snippets help Google understand what your site is about and can provide for enhanced listings (assuming your page ranks on the first page of Google for your targeted search term). Adding rich snippets is possible on other platforms too, but it usually takes some backend coding.
One downside to BigCommerce is that they don’t offer any on-page SEO tools for blog article optimization other than search-engine-friendly URLs. Things like word count, the number of times your keyword has been used, optimized page title and meta-descriptions, internal and external links, readability, etc., are just not available.
To be clear, BigCommerce does allow you to edit page titles and meta-descriptions; they just don’t offer insights into optimization.
Website Speed and Performance for sites built on BigCommerce
When it comes to optimal SEO, having a fast site is definitely a factor in determining how well your site will rank—Google says so themselves right here…
The Search team announced speed would be a ranking signal for desktop searches in 2010 and as of this month (July 2018), page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.”
The same article goes on to say that you should use their Page Speed Insights tool, which scans your site and scores it between 0 – 100 to evaluate how well your site is performing. Because of this, in my opinion, from an SEO perspective, this is the only speed-checking tool that matters.
BigCommerce definitely likes to point out how fast their sites are and how this will help you rank higher in search engines. However, my independent tests tell a different story. Before I go into the results, I have to point out that all of the sites below did load perfectly fine when I tested them myself on my phone and laptop.
We’ll start with Ben and Jerry’s, one of BigCommerce’s biggest customers. As you can see from the screenshot below, this website did not score well with Google and did not pass Google’s Core Web Vitals assessment.
In addition, all of the sites below were featured on BigCommerce’s showcase page. To see whether or not Ben and Jerry’s was just a fluke, I decided to run them all through Google’s speed test, and these were the results.
|Website||Google Speed Test Score 0-100|
The ten sites had an average speed score of 17.8.
As you can see, websites built on BigCommerce do not score well with Google’s speed test.
So while the sites I manually checked did load just fine for me, if SEO is an important factor for your business, you act hesitantly. BigCommerce does offer a few suggestions to improve site speed, but unlike a site built on WordPress, it lacks significant ways to improve the performance of your site.
Does BigCommerce work with WordPress?
Yes. In fact, BigCommerce works with both WordPress.org and WordPress.com sites, and they actually make the process incredibly easy. Simply download the plugin from this page, upload the zip file to your WordPress site, and in minutes your BigCommerce backend is connected to your frontend WordPress site.
Is BigCommerce right for you
BigCommerce is an attractive eCommerce option for anyone selling or planning to sell physical items online. You can sell digital products on BigCommerce; however, if your business is selling strictly digital products, I feel there are better options that include templates and blueprints to help you create amazing digital products.
Also, to take full advantage of BigCommerce’s enterprise-level features, like headless commerce, you’ll typically need a team of capable developers.